Search Manic Mark's Blog

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Bells Are Ringing - Manne - Previn - Mitchell

Bells Are Ringing
Shelly Manne & His Friends
Andre Previn & Red Mitchell
Modern Jazz Performances Of Song From Bells Are Ringing
Produced by Lester Koenig
Recorded April 15 and July 22, 1958 at Contemporary's studios in Los Angeles by Roy DuNann & Howard Holzer.
Contemporary S 7559

Shelly Manne: Drums
Andre Previn: Piano
Red Mitchell: Bass

From the back cover: Shelly Manne, in recent years, has been hailed as the outstanding jazz drummer of the modern era. Although he has been winning or placing high in the various popularity polls conducted by the jazz magazines since the late 1940s, his current popularity is reflected in the fact that he made a clean sweep of all the major polls – Down Beat, Metronome and Playboy – for three successive years: 1956, 1957 & 1958.

In many ways Shelly is representative of the "new jazzman." An inheritor of the tradition (he got his musical start in New York in the late 1930s when 52nd Street was the crossroads of the jazz world and he was able to meet and jam with the top players of the time), Shelly is constantly searching for new ways in which to make his drums more expressive and musically meaningful. He encourages experimental writing, and has commissioned a number of extended jazz works for the group he organized in 1955, Shelly Manne & His Men. His expert technique is in great demand for motion picture and TV background scores. He has appeared in front of the cameras as well, both as musician and actor. His schedule is a busy one, with personal appearances, recording sessions, concerts, night club engagements, and coast-to-coast TV shows.

Yet he has never lost any of the enthusiasm and joy in playing he had as a teen-ager when he haunted 52nd Street for a chance to hear his idols. This delight is clearly apparent in the light-hearted, swinging collaboration with Andre Previn which began with their first Friends album, recorded in February 1956. They plan to continue doing Broadway shows and movies in jazz, alternating as leaders: Shelly's albums will be with "Friends," Andre with the "Pals."

Red Mitchell, who has become a fixture in the series (he appears on Pal Joey & Gigi), was a member of Andre's Trio on the road during the latter part of 1958. He is one of the most prominent of today's jazz bassists, has played with leading groups (Gerry Mulligan, Red Norvo, Hampton Hates, etc.) as well as his own Quartet. In recent years he has settled in Los Angeles where in addition to his jazz appearances he is in great demand in the motion picture, TV and recording studios.

Andre Previn's interest in jazz led him to take a trio in the road (Chicago, Washington, New York, etc.) for three months in 1958; he placed high in all the recent jazz popularity polls; his records are best-sellers at home and abroad; he makes numerous TV and concert appearances. All this in addition to his work as a motion picture composer, and director of Gigi (for which he won an Academy Award) and of the forthcoming Porgy and Bess. He also finds time, somehow, for concertizing. Of his performance of Beethoven's Archduke Trio, the Los Angeles Examiner said (February 26, 1959): "We hear young Previn on such conspicuous occasions as the exponent of modern music in the popular view that sometimes we forget the intuition and the dignity that he can bring to the standard literature of the piano... Throughout the work... Previn coupled technical mastery with beautifully graduated dynamics, appropriate color and an unerring sense of adjustment with the other instruments." It is not a coincidence that jazz critics have been able to say the same sort of thing about Previn's performances in the Friends/Pals series – for Andre is a consistent musician who brings the wealth of his talent to whatever he does in music, whether it be film scoring, jazz or Beethoven. – Lester Koenig - April 7, 1959

I Met A Girl
Just In Time
The Party's Over
It's A Prefect Relationship
Is It A Crime?
Better Than A Dream
Long Before I Knew You
The Party's Over (Up Tempo Version)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Howdy! Thanks for leaving your thoughts!